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Letters | MEASURING THE REACH OF THE HOBBY LOBBY DECISION

The very definition of religion is elusive

David Mack was exactly right to raise the question about what is a religion (“Let’s back up — just exactly what is a religion anyway?” Letters, July 2) — a question that brings out the error in the recent Supreme Court ruling regarding birth control coverage.

Many have tried to define religion, but none have really succeeded. There are religious beliefs, but they do not belong to any set-in-stone religion, as defined by a set of beliefs held by all its members (though many an institutional leader has hoped it worked that way).

Religious beliefs belong to individuals who may identify with a faith tradition and participate in the ongoing evolution of that tradition, and even go so far as to reform that tradition.

As individual beliefs, religious beliefs deserve a voice and respect, but not a special status with special rights and privileges.

George Scarlett
Carlisle